Since the College of Charleston's student center first opened in 1973, high humidity and chemical odors from the facility's natatorium had soured its air. Not only was the IAQ problematic for students using the building's ballroom, snack shop, or student government offices, but the roof, walls, and hardware such as doors, drinking fountains, and lockers had slowly corroded from excess moisture.
After some unsuccessful attempts at correction, college officials finally considered the 28-year-old pool building for adaptive reuse. Plans for a new multimillion dollar edifice were initiated. However, an advisory consortium led by consultant Robert M. Stafford Inc., (Columbia, SC) convinced college officials to embrace a more economical solution.